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10 Years!
Old 10-01-2009, 09:43 AM   #1
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10 Years!

Today it's ten years since I left my job. What an amazing ride. We have been blessed with good fortune.

I'm still not sure how we got here. When I stopped working it wasn't retirement, I quit, just to take a break, fully expecting to go back after a few years. I was not aware of SWR or FIRE and even worse at investing than I am now - I only knew that I was going to get my life back, enjoy it, and also enjoy my family once again (and help them rediscover the real me). Only after a couple of years did I realize three things - we were spending too much, I was not investing well, but we still had enough so I could "not return to work" (I have a problem using the word retire). We needed to focus and make some changes.

We're now in our 4th version of plan B. Our life is quite different from our original plan. Stuff happens, most of which we can't control. Good, bad, fair or not - doesn't matter what or who's fault. We've managed to keep our sights on the things that matter and stay financially solvent despite my efforts to the contrary. We both have already enjoyed more "retirement" than almost all of our numerous previous generation family - yet we're still young. We have also come together as a family in a way simply not possible when I worked. Not just wife and children but also Mom, brothers and sisters and even close friends.

If I had known then what I know now about investing and withdrawal rates I probably would have done something different, stayed at work looking for that extra bit of financial security And missed so much more. Yet here we are, and everything's ok. (I think) It's crucial to have a sense of "enough" and then focus on other things – the important stuff, like life. It's fragile, changes come quickly and unannounced and it just doesn't make sense (for me) to build too great a margin of safety or look too far ahead. Those things are nice but they're not what are most important.

No words of wisdom here, just a thought I try to keep in my own mind - you gotta live your life as best you can, take the opportunities when they show, be fair and not greedy, and help others.

I am so glad I did this.
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Old 10-01-2009, 10:05 AM   #2
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Woohoo! Congrats from another 10 yearee.

Definitely agree on the sense of "enough". Those are words of wisdom.

Audrey
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1 View Post
Those are words of wisdom.
as are

Quote:
If I had known then what I know now ... I probably would have done something different, ... And missed so much more.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:38 AM   #4
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That was a great post . It's hard to realize when you are working how much nicer life can be when you really have the time to enjoy it .
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for your post.

Like the song says..."all your money won't another minute buy".... I'm tickled y'all are doing so well and are so happy!
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Old 10-01-2009, 01:20 PM   #6
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Congrats on your 10 year anniversary.
Sounds like you have the formula right, from this end of the string.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:07 PM   #7
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MichaelB, congrats to you also. See my post to dm.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:10 PM   #8
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Wow 10 Years!!! And they said that you could not stick with one thing!
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:50 PM   #9
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What a nice image of your becoming closer with your extended family.

If we're very lucky, we get to the point where we can count our blessings instead of our money. Sounds like you're there.
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:30 PM   #10
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WTG on 10 years of successful retirement. Glad to hear that everything has worked out and it shows one has to be adaptable and wiling to make changes.
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:06 PM   #11
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Thanks for the kind words.

Quote:
Wow 10 Years!!! And they said that you could not stick with one thing!
Hey. Almost nobody says that to me – just wife, sisters & brothers, aunts & uncles, close friends and a few others.

I sometimes feel a bit selfish – but having time to spend with family and friends has made a big difference. This list of things I want to do (mostly reading, learning and home improvement) seems to grow in spite of all the “free” time to spend doing them. Something there I haven’t figured out yet. Maybe it’s this board...

What have changed the most since I left work are my expectations for myself. They are now more positive.
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:38 PM   #12
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MichaelB,

Thanks for sharing your success story.

You, and others like you, are an inspiration to those of us who are just starting this journey. It is enlightening to hear you almost put financial success (survival?) as the least important of your many successes in ER. Yet, I spend so much time worrying about and planning for financial solvency.

Congratulations! and all the best for the next ten years, the the many more to come after that.
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:23 PM   #13
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MichaelB, Congratulations on 10 yrs.! I will make that mark in March.
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:56 PM   #14
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If retirement was held during the first 30 years of life rather than the last 30 years of life, nothing would ever get done and we would all be retired.
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:59 PM   #15
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Congrats!

i like your "plan B's" - wing it and then adjust your plan as need be.
Thanks for the post
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